Study in Russia does not necessarily require Russian language proficiency. Foreigners can enrol at a preparatory department which offers courses in Russian and profession-oriented subjects. After taking a preparatory course, prospective students can apply to any Russian university for a Russian-taught education programme.
Universities offer international prospective students training options that differ in education levels (preparation for undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate studies), academic areas (engineering or humanitarian programmes), lengths of study, number of disciplines, study periods and tuition fees.
Preparatory course for study in Russia
A nine-month intensive course in Russian and several profession-oriented subjects would be a classical preparatory department training option. On top of that, Universities arrange various events to help prospective students learn about Russian culture and customs and facilitate their adaptation to new environment.
A majority of universities offer preparatory courses for different education levels (for example, for bachelor’s and master’s degree students). As a rule, courses start in September-October and end in June-July. However, many universities are willing to enrol students in preparatory groups later in autumn. Contact university staff to for details and application deadline.
In the first semester, prep students normally take Russian (four to five hours every day). In the second semester, profession-oriented subjects are added to the study plan depending on the chosen University department the student’s future occupation.
Along with the standard one-year course, universities can offer shorter or longer preparatory courses (a few months up to two years) which can start in autumn, winter or spring. Some universities postpone the beginning of studies for the students who are to receive their certificates in autumn or winter. For example, Samara University offers a shorter intensive preparatory course to international students who cannot arrive in October. It begins in February and ends in June. A similar study timeframe is available at Siberian Federal University Preparatory Department; the programme starts in winter and lasts one semester, with further study option.
Prospective students wishing to gain thorough knowledge can choose a longer course. Nizhni Novgorod-based Lobachevsky University offers a preparatory department programme which begins in spring and lasts three semesters.
Some Russian universities only run Russian language courses; their preparatory departments do not provide training in other disciplines. They would normally be the choice of international students who already have basic education and seek to enrol for graduate, specialist or postgraduate studies or medical internship in Russia.
There are options for the applicants wishing to study Russian without taking additional subjects. Tuition fee for Russian as a Foreign Language at Ural Federal University is 65,000 rubles ($1,080). National Research Nuclear University MEPhI offers a ten-month course in Russian as a Foreign Language for 160,000 rubles ($2,670).
Tuition at preparatory departments is free for the foreigners who enjoy Russian government scholarship and have stated in their application that they do not speak Russian and need pre-university training. For self-funding students, it is usually sufficient to leave one’s application on the chosen university’s website in order to enrol at a preparatory department. Next, the applicant has to send the copies of the required documents, sign the contract and make a pre-payment.
After passing the exams, preparatory department graduates receive a certificate of proficiency in Russian. They can apply for a basic programme at the same university after preparatory training or any other Russian university.
Preparatory programmes for international prospective students
Choose an appropriate programme, create your personal account on our website and send an application to the chosen university; you can expect a reply within ten days. You can ask all the questions that interest you and apply to several universities simultaneously, it’s free.